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I have modified they way in which I do my work and found it very useful to use MANY (maybe 50 and always growing) import folders, whilst having each one connected to a different notebook. I´d like to know if eventually I will experience a decrease in app performance from having the system constantly scan many folders for changes. So far I see no difference, but I don´t want to carry on instituting a system that will weigh on my system resources and eventually make my workflow more sluggish. 

If anyone can provide some insight as to if it it is a bad idea (performance wise) to use one import folder for every client I am managing, I´d love to hear it. Thank you. 

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  • Evernote Expert

I'm not sure I've seen any data on this but I would imagine that asking a program to scan multiple folders every few moments would ultimately become demanding on processor time. I'd worj on the assumption that eventually it would have an impact.

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  • Level 5*

I got up to using several different import folders without issue,  but found it just unweildy to administer a growing library that way.  I use a third-party app called Filterize* (which requires a subscription to access this feature) which works the other way around - I have auto-forwarded email and clipped notes dumped to my Default notebook. Filterize scans each new note and based on email addresses and other keywords it adds tags and moves those notes to my notebooks that I have assigned.  It can also extract data like sent by dates and add those to note titles if you wish.  Thus far I have now around 60 'virtual' import folders without noticeably affecting my experience.

(* Other automation services are available...)


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  • Solution

It all depends on the implementation, but if they use the FileSystemWatcher which is event driven (at least from the app's viewpoint) , it seems to be OK for a large amount of files:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10195317/what-are-practical-limits-on-the-number-of-filesystemwatcher-instances-a-server" :

"...I just want to add on to this question that my experience having created upwards of 5000 FileSystemWatcher objects at a time (combined with polling), I have never run into any major issues with creating huge amounts of FileSystemWatcher objects..."

However, never underestimate EN developers in killing performance with their cross platform javascript implementations for simple things which are natively available in the OS 😏

The best way to find it out is just test it with the amount of folders you expect to have (if feasible).

edit: I just did the test myself:

1. Create a folder with 3000 empty subfolders in it (you can easily do that with a 'binary copy",  for instance 12 copies give you already 4096 folders  (2^12)

2. Add this folder as import folder, with the option "include subfolders" enabled

3. The task manager shows an additional intermittent processor load of about 3% for the evernote app

Adding a note via one of the 3000 import subfolders is at normal speed (a couple of seconds)

EN performance is not affected, normal edit speed, scrolling etc


edit: I did the test again with 21000 subfolders -> processor load 40 %  , adding note via subfolder still normal, still normal EN performance such as edit speed, scrolling...


Conclusion: a few thousand import folders shouldn't be a problem 🙂

Edited by eric99
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  • Level 5

Thanks for raising this question, @GB5, and for the good discussion. I make minimal use of an import folder, but I can conceive of such a system becoming very useful. If I get up to 21,000 folders, though, I'll probably also have maps and clippings up on the walls of my room with strings running across from one to the other....

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